Categories
Markets

European stocks climb as global markets look for rebound; Stoxx 600 up 1%

LONDON — European stocks advanced on Friday as global markets looked to regain some ground after a bruising week, with investors assessing the outlook for inflation and interest rates.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 added 1% in early trade, with banks climbing 1.9% to lead gains as all sectors and major bourses entered positive territory.

European markets fell on Thursday as investors remained concerned about slowing growth, interest rate hikes and red-hot April inflation data from the United States, which sparked concerns that a path of aggressive interest rate hiking lies ahead.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that he could not guarantee a so-called “soft landing” that tempers inflation without pushing the economy into recession.

Global stocks have endured a rollercoaster week but look set to regain some ground on Friday. Shares in Asia-Pacific advanced by mid-afternoon with Japan’s Nikkei 225 leading the way on a 2.6% climb.

Meanwhile, US stock futures were higher in early premarket trade as investors hope the S&P 500 can avoid sliding into bear market territory, with the index closing down more than 18% from its all-time high on Thursday, just 2% shy of an official bear market.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is already in a bear market, closing Thursday down more than 29% from its all-time high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has failed for six consecutive trading sessions.

The Stoxx 600 in Europe began Friday’s session down 13% since the beginning of the year.

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Investors are also monitoring the geopolitical fallout from the war in Ukraine. Russia on Thursday threatened retaliation against Finland after Finnish leaders said the northern European nation must apply to join NATO “without delay.”

European leaders are also facing a race to secure alternative gas suppliers after Moscow announced sanctions on European subsidiaries of its majority state-owned corporation Gazprom. The move came after Ukraine’s state-owned grid operator suspended Russian flows into Europe through a key entry point.

On the data front, French inflation was confirmed at an annual 5.4% in April.

Euro area industrial production readings for March are due on Friday morning.

In terms of individual share price movement, British investment company Bridgepoint Group jumped more than 10% following its annual general meeting, while Finnish state-owned energy company Fortum climbed 9.9% in early trade.

Shares of Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB fell 13% after the US Food and Drug Administration said it cannot approve a key psoriasis drug.

Swedish industrial company Atlas Copco dropped 75% due to recalculation after a share split which came into effect on Friday, whereby one share was replaced by four new ordinary shares and one redemption share.

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Categories
Markets

US stocks futures swing higher as S&P 500 fights off bear market territory

US stock futures were pointing to a higher start for Wall Street at the end of a volatile week, after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell cooled speculation about the potential for 75-basis point rate hikes.

How are stock-index futures trading?
  • S&P 500 futures ES00,
    +1.20%
    rose 1.1% to 3,971

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00,
    +0.88%
    264 points, or 0.8%, to 31,917

  • Nasdaq 100 futures NQ00,
    +1.92%
    climbed 1.7% to 12,158

On Thursday, the Dow industrials DJIA,
-0.33%
dropped 103.81 points, or 0.3%, to end at 31,730.30, about 500 points off the session’s low, but notching a sixth day of losses. The S&P 500SPX,
-0.13%
slipped 0.1% to 3,930.08. The Nasdaq Composite COMP,
+0.06%
rose 0.1% to 11,370.96.

What’s driving the markets?

The Fed is not “actively considering” a 75-basis point interest rate increase, Fed Chairman Powell told Marketplace after the market close on Thursday, though he also said the central bank may not be able to engineer a “soft landing” for the economy .

Stocks wall losses on Thursday after the Senate confirmed Powell him to a second term.

But even if equities can manage a win on Friday, all three indexes are headed for sizable weekly losses, led by the Nasdaq, down 6.3% as of Thursday. That would mark the battered tech index’s sixth straight weekly loss, with the Dow industrials set to mark its seventh consecutive weekly loss, off 3.5%.

Down 4.6%, the S&P 500 is also poised to mark a sixth-straight weekly fall, as it also skirts bear market territory, defined as a drop of 20% from a recent peak. Off 18.1% from a Jan. 3 record high, the S&P would only need to close at or below 3,837.24 to enter a bear market.

Read: The S&P 500 is on the brink of a bear market. Here’s the threshold.

It would also mark the first time in over a decade that the index has seen six straight weeks of declines, pointed out to a team of Deutsche Bank strategists led by Henry Hill.

“Unlike in April, when the equity declines were triggered by the prospect of a more aggressive Fed tightening cycle and went hand-in-hand with sovereign bond losses, this week’s declines have much more obviously surrounded global growth risks, which you can see in the way that Fed Funds futures are now beginning to take out some of the tightening they’d been pricing in over the year ahead,” said Hill.

The market has endured higher-than-forecast consumer prices this week, as well as continued high producer prices.

Read: Fed tightening comes ‘fraught with volatility’ in the stock market, but this JPMorgan portfolio manager says he isn’t betting on a US recession

Economic data ahead includes April import prices at 8:30 am Eastern, followed by the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May at 10 am Eastern and comments by Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari at 11 am Eastern.

Some recovery in battered cryptocurrency markets on Friday may also be helping sentiment overall, analysts said.

BitcoinBTCUSD,
+6.00%
was trading at $30,360, after staging a slight recovery from a roughly 16-month low hit Thursday of $25,400, amid a collapse of some stablecoins, which are supposed to be pegged to the dollar.

Read: Why is UST, LUNA crashing? Collapse of a eleven $40 billion cryptocurrency, explained

How are other assets trading?
  • Treasury yields were on the rise. The yield on the 10-year note TMUBMUSD10Y,
    2,900%
    rose 6 basis points to 2.875%, while that of the 2-year TMUBMUSD02Y,
    2,594%
    gained 6 basis points to 2,760%.

  • Oil futures rose modestly, with the US benchmark CL.1,
    +0.87%
    up 0.7% at $106.90 a barrel. Gold futures GC00,
    +0.08%
    inched down to $1,823.20 an ounce.

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP,
    +0.93%
    rose 0.6%, while London’s FTSE 100 UK:UKX gained 0.8%.

  • The Shanghai Composite CN:SHCOMP rose 0.9%, while the Hang Seng Index HK:HSI jumped 2.3% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 JP:NIK surged 2.6%.

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Categories
Markets

This JPMorgan portfolio manager says he isn’t betting on a US recession

In a wobbly stock market, Phil Camporeale, a portfolio manager at JPMorgan Chase & Co., is betting the US will avoid a recession.

Rising interest rates are the “number one culprit this year for the volatility and the chaos” seen in the market, said Camporeale, a portfolio manager for JP Morgan Asset Management’s global allocation strategy, in a phone interview. The Federal Reserve is “being extremely aggressive with multiple 50-basis-point hikes,” he said, referring to the Fed’s half-point rate hike earlier this month, and expectations for additional increases of that size, as it aims to cool the economy in an effort to tame high inflation.

While investors worry that the Fed’s monetary tightening risks tipping the US into a recession, Camporeale said he’s betting that won’t happen in the next 12 months. As part of that view, he has a “neutral” allocation to equities that includes bets on value and “profitable” growth stocks.

“We don’t want to be underweight equities in this environment,” said Camporeale.

Meanwhile, rising rates have hurt stock-market valuations, particularly shares of high-growth companies in areas such as technology that are valued on earnings projected far out into the future.

“Profitless tech” stocks are “the most vulnerable in a world where money isn’t free anymore,” said Camporeale.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index COMP,
+0.06%
has plunged 27.3% this year, while the S&P 500 SPX,
-0.13%
has dropped 17.5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.33%
has failed 12.7%, according to FactSet data. The stock benchmarks ended mixed Thursday, with the Dow dipping 0.3%, the S&P 500 shedding 0.1% and the Nasdaq edging up about 0.1%.

Read: The S&P 500 is on the brink of a bear market. Here’s the threshold.

While rates have been climbing in 2022 in anticipation of the Fed’s tightening, most of the move higher is probably “behind us,” according to Camporeale.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y,
2.888%
has about doubled this year to more than 3%, but has slipped back below that level. The 10-year yield fell 9.5 basis points on Thursday to 2.815%, according to Dow Jones Market Data. That compares with a yield of about 1.5% at the end of 2021.

As part of his current bet that the US will avoid a recession, Camporeale said that he has exposure to both high-yield and investment-grade corporate bonds as company balance sheets are strong. But within high-yield debt, or so-called junk bonds, his bias towards him is toward higher-quality borrowers, he said.

Camporeale said he’s positioned for an easing of inflation over the next couple of quarters as well as a slowdown in growth that stops short of an economic contraction over the next 12 months. He expects that inflation will remain above the Fed’s target, but should come down to a level where the central bank will be “much less aggressive tightening in 2023.”

Read: Investors haven’t begun to price in recession: Here’s how far the S&P 500 could fall

Meanwhile, the Fed’s tightening plans include a reduction of its balance sheet at a faster pace than in the last cycle, said Camporeale. “That’s obviously going to come fraught with volatility and uncertainty, which is the reason why we’re not pounding our fist saying, ‘Be overweight equities.’”

To protect against the downside should Camporeale’s base case prove wrong, he said that his hedges include S&P 500 “puts,” which make money when the index falls, as well as a short position on small-cap stocks.

The Russell 2000 index RUT,
+1.24%,
which consists of small-cap companies in the US, has tumbled 22.5% so far this year, according to FactSet data.

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Categories
Internet

Amazon takes on SpaceX in the satellite internet with Project Kuiper

Amazon has a plan to deliver internet from space using 3,236 small satellites in low Earth orbit. It’s called Project Kuiper.

In April, the company signed a multibillion-dollar contract — the largest rocket deal in the history of the commercial space industry — for launches of its Kuiper satellites with three different entities: Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, United Launch Alliance (a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin) and Europe’s Arianespace.

“In many ways, it’s a response and a competition to Elon Musk and SpaceX with its Starlink network,” said CNBC space reporter Michael Sheetz. Amazon first revealed Project Kuiper in 2019, but the company’s announcement last month gave it new momentum.

SpaceX’s Starlink already has about 2,000 satellites in orbit, serving about 250,000 total subscribers. The Federal Communications Commission has approved SpaceX to launch a total of 12,000 satellites.

Amazon hasn’t yet launched a single satellite, but it could still be a big player in the game.

“The satellite communications market is one that’s valued at a few tens of billions of dollars,” said Caleb Henry, a senior analyst at Quilty Analytics. “No one in this industry believes that it’s a one-system-take-all kind of environment. We expect to see at least two and probably more constellations go forward, serving not only the residential consumer, but any type of business or organization that relies on internet connectivity.”

An estimated 37% of the world’s population has still never used the internet, with 96% of those people living in developing countries, according to data from the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations organization. And Amazon joins a list of tech giants, along with Facebook and Google, that have invested in developing digital infrastructure to support their own core services.

“Amazon is known as the everything company, and it’s hard to have an everything company without internet,” said Henry. “Amazon’s fastest-growing segment has been its AWS cloud service. And in support of that, they’ve built out a tremendous amount of internet infrastructure, whether it’s data centers or fiber.”

Henry said space is a “very natural expansion” of Amazon’s data business and its consumer business, “providing goods and electronics and resources to people around the world.”

Watch the video above to learn how Amazon’s Project Kuiper satellite internet service will compete with SpaceX’s Starlink, and why the e-commerce giant is positioned to deliver connectivity throughout the globe in the near future.

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Categories
Markets

Malaysia’s Economy Grew Faster Than Expected in First Quarter Amid Recovery in Labor Market

By Chester Tay

 

Malaysia’s economy expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in the first quarter, driven by consumption activities amid a recovery in labor market conditions.

The economy grew 5.0% from a year earlier, Malaysia’s central bank said Friday. In the fourth quarter, the trade-and-transit hub’s gross domestic product climbed 3.6%, buoyed by easing pandemic restrictions and strong external demand.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a 4.0% growth in the first quarter. Compared with the previous quarter, GDP rose 3.9%.

Bank Negara Malaysia said manufacturing activities continued to be driven by demand for semiconductors and consumer-related products, such as motor vehicles, while services sectors were buoyed by higher leisure-related spending and business-related activities amid the reopening of the economy.

The central bank said the country’s economic growth in 2022 will be supported by the continued expansion in global and domestic demand, the reopening of international borders and the improvement of labor market and income prospects. Bank Negara maintained its 2022 GDP forecast of 5.3%-6.3%.

“The outlook, however, is subject to risks related to emergence of severe (Covid-19) variant of concerns, heightened geopolitical tensions, global financial market volatility and supply chain disruptions, leading to much slower economic growth,” said the central bank.

Bank Negara reiterated its forecast for headline inflation growth to average 2.2%-3.2% this year, with core inflation expected to trend higher to 2.0%-3.0%, reflecting the improvement in economic activity and continued cost pressures.

The following are selected economic indicators released by the central bank.

1Q 2022 4Q 2021 Gross Domestic Product 5.0 3.6 Manufacturing 6.6 9.1 Services sector 6.5 3.2 Mining sector -1.1 -0.6 Agriculture sector 0.2 2.8 Private Sector Consumption 5.5 3.7 Public Sector Consumption 6.7 4.3

Write to Chester Tay at [email protected]

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Categories
Business

Salesforce will help employees relocate for abortion access

CEO of Salesforce Marc Benioff attends a meeting with US President Joe Biden and private sector CEOs in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 26, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Salesforce told employees in a Slack message on Thursday that the company will help them relocate if they’re worried about access to abortions or other medical procedures following an expected ruling from the US Supreme Court that would strike down Roe v. Wade.

“If you have concerns about access to critical health care in your state, Salesforce will provide financial support for travel, available through our health care providers, and/or help relocate you and members of your immediate family,” Brent Hyder, Salesforce’s president and chief people officer, wrote in the Slack post, which was viewed by CNBC.

A Salesforce representative declined to comment.

Salesforce and other large tech companies have committed to covering travel costs for their workers who may need to travel for abortions. They started letting employees know about that option after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion last week revealed the high court’s apparent intent to overturn the 1973 ruling that made access to a safe abortion a constitutional right.

Of the 50 US states, 26 would or are likely to ban abortion if Roe is overturned, according to the nonprofit Guttmacher Institute.

Hyder referred employees to information available internally on travel and relocation services for reproductive health care. He said Lori Castillo Martinez, the company’s chief equality officer, “and I want to acknowledge that the recent news on this topic is deeply personal for many, especially women.”

The company is also offering counseling from Lyra Health, a start-up focused on providing mental health services to businesses and other organizations.

“If you are struggling with the recent news on reproductive healthcare, a Lyra counselor will be facilitating small group sessions (max 25 people) focused on guiding employees through ways you can cope with stress,” Hyder wrote.

Amazon and Apple have agreed to reimburse their employees who get abortions in other states, CNBC reported a day after the draft opinion leaked. Microsoft has also joined the fray.

“Microsoft will continue to do everything we can under the law to protect our employees’ rights and support employees and their enrolled dependents in accessing critical healthcare – which already includes services like abortion and gender-affirming care – regardless of where they live across the US ,” a Microsoft spokesperson wrote in an email. “This support is being extended to include travel expense assistance for these and other medical services where access to care is limited in availability in an employee’s home geographic region.”

Salesforce has been outspoken on social issues in the past, including in September, when co-CEO Marc Benioff said on Twitter that the company would help employees leave Texas after an anti-abortion law in the state went into effect.

In 2015, Benioff said Salesforce was being “forced to dramatically reduce our investment” in Indiana because customers and employees were unhappy about the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Critics worried that the law would allow businesses to deny services to LGBTQ people on religious grounds. Salesforce has a big presence in Indiana because it’s the home of ExactTarget, which Salesforce acquired for $2.5 billion in 2013.

WATCH: Senate vote to move forward on a bill that would have protected abortion access fails

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Categories
Markets

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rises more than 2% as Asia markets rise

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific edged higher in Friday morning trade, continuing a rollercoaster week as investors assess the inflation and the global economic outlook.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan traded 2.34% higher, with shares of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group jumping more than 9% despite reporting Thursday a record loss at its Vision Fund investment unit. The Topix index climbed 1.61%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index jumped 1.49%. Mainland Chinese stocks also rose, with the Shanghai Composite up 0.43% while the Shenzhen Component gained 0.553%.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced 1.59% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia gained 1.44%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 1.1% higher.

Concerns over inflation and the economic outlook have weighed on global investor sentiment in recent days, with riskier assets such as tech stocks and cryptocurrencies taking a hit.

JPMorgan Private Bank’s Alex Wolf told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Friday that the firm is “fairly cautious” on Asia stocks at the moment.

“There’s really nowhere to hide,” said Wolf, head of investment strategy for Asia at the firm. He cited concerns such as broad growth risks creating “near-term uncertainties” for Asia, particularly the region’s emerging markets.

Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:

US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday that getting inflation under control won’t be easy and warned he could not promise a so-called soft landing for the economy.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 declined 0.13% to 3,930.08 — more than 18% lower than its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 103.81 points, or 0.33%, to 31,730.30. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite advanced fractionally to 11,370.96.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.765 after a recent climb from below 104.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 129.21 per dollar, stronger as compared with levels above 130 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6883 as it continues to struggle for a bounce after slipping from above $0.70 earlier in the week.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.52% to $109.08 per barrel. US crude futures climbed 1.36% to $107.57 per barrel.

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Categories
Markets

Enterprise and desktop PCs still ‘a healthy market’ as personal PCs see slowdown, says Micron CEO

Micron chief executive Sanjay Mehrotra told CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday that the market for enterprise and desktop PCs remains healthy despite the personal PCs market experiencing a slowdown.

“It’s not like anything is falling off the cliff,” Mehrotra said in an interview on “Mad Money.”

“Yes, while consumer PCs lately are not experiencing the same kind of growth where they experienced in [the] last two years … enterprise PCs and desktop PCs continue to be a healthy market,” he added.

As people return to the office and to in-person learning this year, PC sales have receded. Gartner said in April that it estimates shipments of PCs slid 7.3% from a year earlier. Canalys noted a 3% dip in shipments during the first three months of this year.

The losses come after 2021 saw a huge boom in the PC market – PC sales experienced its fastest growth in 20 years during the first quarter of 2021 and saw a 15% growth overall that year.

The Micron CEO also chimed in on handsets, which he says have seen stabilized growth but also remain healthy.

“With respect to handsets, in China, with certain smartphone manufacturers, their end demand due to Covid lockdowns is somewhat weak. So some inventory adjustments by certain handset manufacturers in China [have been made],” he said. “What is important is, overall handsets … continues to be a large market,” he added.

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Categories
Personal Finance

Personal finance education is gaining momentum across the US

Nine-year-old student Roberto Nieves Fernandez studies personal finance topics on his laptop using online resource center SmartPath.

SMARTPATH

More states are requiring students to take personal finance education courses before they graduate high school.

There are currently 23 states that mandate a personal finance course for students, according to the 2022 Survey of the States released Thursday from the Council for Economic Education.

Since 2020, the last time the survey was published, two states — Nebraska and New Mexico — have passed legislation ensuring that all students will take a personal finance course before they graduate high school.

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“While we’re encouraged by some progress in our latest survey, all young people across the country need more and deserve better,” said Nan Morrison, president and CEO of the Council for Economic Education.

unequal progress

There’s been consistent momentum in states adding personal finance education in various ways for more than two decades. The number of states that include personal finance in their education standards has jumped to 47 in 2022, from 21 in 1998.

Of course, what is offered and required in those 47 states varies widely, the report found. While 27 states offer a personal finance course in high school, only 23 mandate that students must take one to graduate.

And, of those, only nine courses are a stand-alone personal finance course — the remaining ones are integrated into another class.

“The state of financial education offered to students in the US varies significantly,” said Worku Gachou, head of North America, inclusive impact & sustainability, at Visa, which today with the Council for Economic Education launched FinEd50, a coalition of private, public and nonprofit leaders that will promote guaranteed access everywhere to these essential courses.

“Where students live should not impact whether they have access to knowledge that will help them learn how to make informed financial decisions in their lives,” Gachou added.

These differences matter because without broader guidelines, students from lower-income families and people of color often don’t have the same access to personal finance education, said Morrison.

“If we don’t get requirements passed, it just exasperates the gaps that are already there,” Morrison said.

Economics courses falling behind

The report also found that while there’s been consistent momentum in adding personal finance education and requirements to high school curriculums in recent years, guidelines for economics courses have stagnated.

Since 2011, only three states have added a requirement that students must take an economics course to graduate.

While economics sometimes overlaps with personal finance education, both are important courses of study, Morrison said. Studying economics gives students the opportunity to think about and analyze a lot of topics relevant to the world such as the environment, housing and employment.

Personal finance courses, on the other hand, help students learn to manage their own money and make solid choices, given what’s happening in the world.

“In my ideal world, every kid would have at least a semester of econ and at least a semester of personal finance to give them a good set of skills,” she said.

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Categories
Business

Jim Cramer says investors shouldn’t allow a tumultuous market to prevent them from finding ‘better opportunities’

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Thursday said that while investors should tread carefully as the stock market continues to be stormy, they also shouldn’t be afraid to make moves to strengthen their portfolios.

“We want to be very careful to buy stocks with stories that can handle a slowdown. … A good portfolio manager never sells his winners to fund his losers, even if it’s embarrassing. You’ve got to give the losers the boot,” the “Mad Money” host said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.33% on Thursday while the S&P 500 dropped 0.13%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite inched up 0.06%.

“But we’re not complacent, either way. We are very worried about the wealth destruction, for instance, in crypto. We hang our heads on the once-great FAANG stocks. But we can never stop looking for opportunity,” he added , referring to his acronym for stocks of Facebook-parent Meta, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google-parent Alphabet.

Cramer’s comments come after cryptocurrencies saw a sell-off that shed over $200 billion from the entire market in a day. Bitcoin dropped below $26,000 for the first time in over a year.

Ether, the second-largest digital currency, dropped below $2,000 for the first time in almost a year. The Terra project’s UST stablecoin lost around 75% of its value on Wednesday before gaining slightly while its sister token, luna, lost around 98% of its value over the last week.

Stablecoins are seen as safe havens by digital currency investors when the market is tumultuous, but UST has teetered in value.

In his analysis of the stock market, Cramer emphasized its unpredictability, noting that Thursday appeared to be a perfect opportunity for a rally.

“The market should’ve bounced hard today because interest rates were down and there was no real bad news,” he said.

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